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Posted on: 23/04/2021

Welcome Back Letter - April 2021

Dear Parents, Welcome back. I hope you have all had a restful Easter and a wonderful holiday. The sunshine has returned and we are all looking forward to our summer term. This Friday is St George’s Day and to mark the occasion we are inviting children to come into school in their own clothes and to donate a £1. Thank you for your donations, we have raised £290.00 which will be given to CAFOD . Voluntary Contributions I would like to thank those of you who have contributed to the voluntary school fund of £10 per term per family. We received many contributions last term and would like to ask parents to begin to make their contributions for the summer term. Whilst we are extremely grateful to those parents who feel able to make a contribution; any donation will be completely anonymous, so no family should feel compelled to pay, if it is outside their means.  Nevertheless, your donations do play a vital role in us being able to fund different aspects of learning that fall outside the current statutory provision, for example, special assemblies and workshops for the whole school. Child Protection in School As part of our Child Protection duty and commitment, we make children aware of the many ways they could find themselves in danger. In school, we discuss e-safety issues, road safety awareness, ‘stranger danger’ and personal safety when travelling on public transport, to name but a few. We do this through assemblies, classroom discussions and also by inviting outside agencies into school. The Governing Body, Headteacher and Staff of Our Lady of Grace, through the implementation of the Child Protection Policy, ensure that all Child Protection issues are adhered to. We are legally bound, in our duty of care, to make referrals to Social Services if there are significant reasons to cause us concern. We are obliged, as professionals, ‘to think the unthinkable’  in order to safeguard our children. For further information on all these issues, take some time to look at the Greenwich Safeguarding website: www.greenwichsafeguardingchildren.org.uk Summer Uniform As the weather is now getting warmer, the children may wish to wear summer uniform: Boys – white shirt, red school jumper, grey/red school tie, grey shorts, grey socks, black shoes Girls - red checked dress (not striped or a playsuit), red school cardigan, white socks. Red or black shoes All items are now in stock at Bailwood Fashions Ltd (246 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6JU) and can be bought straight from the shop or ordered online. As the weather warms up and the sun will (hopefully) be shining, please provide plain coloured soft sun hats/caps (no rigid peaks) for your child to use during playtimes. For health and safety reasons, children must not bring / keep sun creams in their bags. Please could you put a long lasting / 12 hour sun screen on your child before school if it is needed. We look forward to a happy and safe summer. Summer term Mass Friday 30th April - Whole School Zoom Mass - 9.15am (School) Other dates for your diary: 10th May – Tempest Photography: Individual / Sibling / Class Photographs 24th May – Year 6 School Journey ( 1 day) Bewlwater Outdoor Centre 15th June – Year 2 trip to Joss Bay Assessment Though there will be no statutory assessment tasks (SAT’s) for Year 2 and Year 6 this year, these classes will continue to undertake these formal tests in week 5. All other classes will undertake the formal NFER testing in that week as well. Please continue to ensure your child is working hard and check their homework is completed to a high standard.  A few reminders: Parking Outside School We are still receiving complaints from our residents in Lime Kiln Drive.  Please be respectful to residents, and do not park across their driveways, or indeed on their driveways. Please leave yourself enough time to park further away from the school, or walk if you can. Just a reminder that NO mobile phones are to be used on the school premises. Should your child require medicine to be kept in school ie. asthma pumps, epipens etc, can you ensure these are sent into the office as soon as possible. The office staff can only administer prescribed medicine to children and this can only be given once a consent form has been completed by parents. Yours sincerely, SEAN SMALL Head Teacher
Posted on: 30/03/2021

Headteacher's Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers, As we quickly approach the end of this term.  I just wanted to thank you again for all the support you have given the staff since our return.  The last few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind and have not been without their challenges. I have said this so many times, but it is truly wonderful to have the children back in school. Their smiles at the school gate each morning, as well as through the day, have lifted the spirits of us all.  We are so tremendously proud of the care that the children show one another, as well as their resilience and thoughtfulness, particularly during these unprecedented times. Reception Admissions 2020-2021 We received a very high number of applications for our Reception places in September 2021. The School had 162 applications for the 60 places, with 31 of them being siblings. I know the EYFS team will be looking forward to the summer term when we can invite the families to the school. Easter Mass We are very grateful to Father Hyacinth for the whole school virtual Mass which summed up the message of Easter. A big thank you to Ms. Antwi-Bosiako for co-ordinating the Mass at the end of such a busy term.   Can we please remind you to pick up a newsletter from Church giving times of Holy Week and Easter Services.  We do hope that the Lenten message continues to be given at home. First Holy Communion Our Lady of Grace Parish is finalizing their First Holy Communion programme for this year.  Many thanks to those parents who have already signed their children up to the programme.  The closing date has been extended until Sunday 4th April. We look forward to seeing as many of our Year 3 children as possible taking part in this special and important sacramental preparation. Voluntary Contributions Due to the current climate, the office has not sent out information this year for Parent Voluntary contributions to school funds.  After Easter we will once again be asking parents for a £10 voluntary contribution.  Please note these contributions are entirely voluntary and completely anonymous, so no family should be compelled to pay if it is beyond their means.  This year we are asking that you pay directly into our school fund account:  Account name:  London Borough of Greenwich Our Lady of Grace School.  Sort Code:  20-98-57 Account Number:  80851000   Things to look forward to! Educational Visits after Easter As soon as it is possible, we will be organising educational visits and activities.  We have provisionally booked the Seaside trip for Year 2 in June as well Outward Bounds day for Year 6.  More details will follow after Easter. School Photographs We have provisionally booked Tempest Photography to come in on 10th May for class photos of EYFS, Year 3 and Year 6 as well as whole school individual / siblings photos.  Also it has been 4 years since our last whole school Photograph, so we have provisionally booked them in for 30th June.   Sports Day / Summer Fayre / Whole School Performances / Masses We are all desperate for these school community events to take place once restrictions have been eased.  Please be assured that we will do our very best to make these events happen if it is possible. Secondary Transfer Many of our Year 5 parents will be going through the Secondary Transfer process for the first time in October 2021.  After the Easter break, I hope to arrange for some Secondary headteachers to come into school to discuss all aspects of the Secondary process with those parents.     Attendance by class and whole school: St Francis                       98.6 St Bernadette                 97.7 St David                         99.2 St John Bosco                96.9 St Joseph                       98.7                         St Gerard                       98.8 St Peter                          99.4 St Martin                        98.1 St Martin De Porres       98.7 St Francis of Assisi        98.2 St Elizabeth                   95.2 St Patrick                       99.3   Whole School Attendance Total    98.2   Staffing: I am pleased to say that many of the staff vacancies that were advertised have been filled in readiness for September 2021.   We have some new support staff working in school, Mr Veel in Year 5 is working part-time and we will have Mrs Senejoa who will be working with a pupil in Year 2 after Easter.  We welcome them both to the team. School Uniform When we return, please ensure your child is wearing the correct school uniform and appropriate footwear. As we all look forward to the summer term and the hot weather, Summer Uniform can now be worn.  Please make sure you provide your child with a sun hat/cap every day. These may be any colour but plain in design. Can you also make sure you apply sun cream to your child before they come to school in the morning. P.E – the children should be wearing the school PE kit as well as plimsoles or black/navy trainers, plain in design.  If a child wears brightly coloured trainers they will not be allowed to take part in P.E. lessons. Parking I would ask you to be mindful of the way in which you drop off and pick up your children and request that you do not park across resident’s driveways or block/mount the pavement – this is dangerous for both pedestrians and parents pushing buggies who have to move into the road to avoid these parked vehicles. ____________________________________________   On behalf of all the Governors and staff, we wish you all a Happy and Holy Easter break.   Sean Small Headteacher   Living Holy Week following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are most forgotten, those who are the most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love. Pope Francis
Posted on: 25/02/2021

Headteacher's Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers Following Monday’s announcement from the Government, we are delighted to see schools reopening for all children from 8th March. The guidelines for reopening are similar to those of the autumn term detailed in my letter to you on 16th July:  https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/198/letters-to-parents   These included:  staggered starts to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school all children being taught in consistent group ‘bubbles’ packed lunches being eaten in classrooms.  (It will not be possible to serve hot food until the guidance changes) teachers and Support staff, including SEND staff, operating across different classes Additional Guidance Face Coverings will be mandatory for all staff and visitors, but this will not include the children. Weekly testing for all staff. NEW - Timetable for the School Day   DROP OFF TIMES COLLECTION TIMES ACCESSING GATE YEAR 6 8.20am 2.20pm CAR PARK YEAR 5 8.20am 2.20pm CAR PARK YEAR 4 8.30am 2.30pm CAR PARK YEAR 3 8.40am 2.40pm CAR PARK YEAR 2 8.50am 2.50pm CAR PARK YEAR 1 9.00am 3.00pm CAR PARK EYFS St Francis 8.45am 2.45pm LIME KILN DRIVE EYFS St Bernadette 8.50am 2.50pm LIME KILN DRIVE   YEAR PLAYTIME LUNCHTIME IN CLASSROOM   YEAR 5 & 6 10.25 – 10.40am 11.30-12.30pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) YEAR 3 & 4 10.45 – 11.00am 12.15-1.15pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) YEAR 2 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play YEAR 1 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45.-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 30 min play) EYFS 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45.-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) To ensure the school is ready for the return of the children there will be a staff INSET on Friday 5th March.  The school will be closed to all children (including Key Worker children) and there will be no Home Learning on that day. Parent Questionnaire: Review of Online Learning Thank you to all those who filled out the online questionnaire.  We had 102 responses with the following results: My Child is spending too much time on a screen for learning. 56% of parents said their child spends the right amount of time on screen for learning. My child is completing all their schoolwork in the set time allocated. 57% of parents agreed that their child completed the schoolwork in the set time allocated.   My child receives too much work. 76% of parents thought their child received the right amount of work. My child doesn’t receive enough work. 88% of parents disagreed with the statement. All of us would agree that Home Learning has been challenging, this review highlights the contrasting views of our parents.  Teachers have done their best to continue educating our children in these very difficult circumstances.  We are all pleased to be returning to the classroom! Academic Review Day It is essential that the partnership between home and school continues after this latest lockdown.  In order to update parents on their children’s progress I have requested that Wednesday 31st March (last day of term) be set aside as an Academic Review day.  This will be an opportunity for teachers and parents to discuss their children via zoom.  Once this date has been agreed by governors I will contact parents to confirm. World Book Day On Thursday 4th March, we will be celebrating World Book Day.  It would be fantastic if the children could dress up as their favourite book character.  During the week children will also be expected to read in unusual places, e.g. in a cupboard, on a car etc.  Please could parents take photos of their children and post them on the class stream on Google Classroom.  These will be shared with the whole when we return. Lent As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, please continue to pray with your children and to share bible stories with them.  Our faith journey during Lent is so important in these unprecedented times.  “Lent is a humble descent both inwards and towards others.  It is about realizing that salvation is not an ascent to glory, but a descent in love.”  Pope Francis, Lent 2021.  Finally, to make sure infection rates do not rise there needs to be minimal contact between parents at the start and end of the day.  In order for the school to remain open after the 8th March, we need the cooperation of all our parents and carers to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and to wear the obligatory facemasks. Yours sincerely Mr Sean Small Headteacher
Posted on: 11/02/2021

End of Term Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers As we start our final week, we have the snow!  I do hope the children manage to go outside and have the chance to play in it whilst it lasts. Online learning Thank you for your continued support with online learning.  Lockdown fatigue is hitting us all, especially these last few weeks. I keep saying it, but we all desperately want our children back in school. We heard from the Prime Minister that schools will not return until Monday 8th March at the earliest. For most of the children online learning is going well.  For those parents, whose children are struggling, please just do your best with what you can.  Revisit work that has been uploaded or read with your children; this will help the teachers immensely.  It is important for us all that when we do finally reopen the transition back to the classroom is as seamless as possible.  This week’s assessments will be invaluable in helping teachers plan for after half term and to address any gaps they have found. We will be back soon, I promise.  Following meetings with the teachers, they have asked me to highlight some pointers.  Though many are common sense, you would be surprised at the number of households not following these simple guidelines.  Please read over the Home Learning Policy on the Website Whenever possible, children should be sitting at a table or at least in an appropriate place when undertaking their work to be able to produce their best efforts During the live sessions with teachers, the behaviour of the children is so important. Please ensure your children are in a communal area of the house and are supervised Finally, the children should be appropriately dressed during Google Meets. Online stars!  Well done those children who have been nominated by their teacher for something special they have done over the course of online learning. We would normally give a range of rewards in school for impressive effort and attitudes.  This consistency and seeing so many different children receiving awards from the teachers makes me so proud that the learning continues to be strong. Review of Online Learning  We will be sending out a link to a simple questionnaire to gauge your views on the schools online learning.  It is important for us to recognise what is going well and what can be improved so please fill in the form when you receive the text.  Lent Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent is during Half term.  Please share some of these online resources in preparation for this special time:  Resources to Download: 40 Ideas for 40 Days:  https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical- year/lent/activities-and-resources/40-ideas-for-40-days/   Catechetical Activities for Lent:   https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/catechetical-activities-for-lent/   Lent at Home:          https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/lent-at-home/   Lenten Activities for Children:  https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-    resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/lenten-activities-for-children/   Lenten Family Calendar:  https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-    year/lent/activities-and-resources/lenten-family-calendar/   Holiday Dates 2021/ 2022:  Please see link to next year’s term dates on our website:  https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/196/term-dates   Finally Over the course of these past weeks, I would like to thank all the Support Staff and PPA teachers who have come into school to work within the Key Worker and SEN Bubbles. I would also like to pass on my thanks to the office staff who have been in school constantly and who have quite literally kept the show on the road, by giving parents the necessary information needed to access Home Learning. To the teachers, who have tried their very best to keep the learning fun and interesting over these past 7 weeks.  Remember, this learning platform is new to them too! Finally, thank you to all parents.  It has been a tough 7 weeks and its clear, we would not have been able to achieve the outcomes without your help and efforts. The juggling of your work, housework, cooking, being the teacher, the husband, the wife, the parent, and the shoulder to cry on.  I thank you all and say well done, you have all earned your stripes! Have a safe and restful half term!
Posted on: 1/02/2021

Letter from Deputy Headteacher

  Dear Parents I am writing to introduce myself to you as the new deputy head of Our Lady of Grace and to provide you with details about the Key Worker/Vulnerable children provision in school. Reception and KS1 Bubble Although Years 1 and 2 and Reception are in the same bubble, Reception are in the Early Years’ area which enables them to do a range of activities which complement Google Classroom and support their Early Years Development. Years 1 and 2 are taught together in one classroom. Children do age - appropriate tasks which complement the work posted on Google Classroom. The children work on paper, and starting from next Monday 1 February, the work covered will be sent home daily instead of weekly. This will enable you as parents to see what has been covered at school so that you can follow up home learning on Google Classroom easily. Due to limited staffing and access to technology, it is not possible for the children to participate in the weekly Google Meets. The children are given time to socialise at school and have daily contact with staff. A reading book and reading record will be sent home weekly (Wednesday for Reception and Friday for KS1)   Please continue to hear your child read at home and to record your comments in the reading record book. Please ensure that the reading book and reading record book are sent into school daily. KS2 Bubble KS2 children, from across all year groups work together in the ICT suite. They are encouraged to work independently on the work set by their class teachers. The work is then uploaded for their class teachers to mark. Due to the small numbers of staff, assistance is prioritised to those who need it. All children have their own device and can access all aspects of their class home learning. Although work is completed in school, we would continue to ask parents to work closely with their children and support them in their learning. I hope this is information is helpful to you. Yours sincerely Dawn Webb

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